We often hear that Ops is all about process, efficiency, speed and scale but does saving time and money have a real and lasting impact? What about quality? Are we doing the right work or are we scaling poor quality research? Is the work visible? Are we learning from our insights or are we repeating the same studies? Does anyone care about governance or are we skipping over the ‘boring’ work in favour of speed?

For the last seven months I’ve been leading the User Research team at Babylon Health in London. We are distributed across three offices and in two time zones (UK/US). The researchers are embedded in Tribes across the user experience. We also have a small centralised team who focus on the whole end to end service.

dscout’s User Research Maturity Model

This is dscout’s User Research maturity model. The team has definitely been in expansion since 2018, growing from one user researcher a few years ago, to a team of 18 at the start of this year. As well as growing, the research craft has really…

Month 3 at Babylon Health as the Interim Director of Research has passed by in a blink. If this was a permanent role, it would be time for my probation review. It feels like all I have done for the last three months is to sit in one to ones and team meetings. I’ve certainly been busy but what have I actually achieved so far? I’ve been reflecting on this during the last few weeks. To help make sense of things I looked again at Bruce Tuckman’s team model.

Sean Conner’s illustration of Bruce Tuckman’s team model.

In 2019, Babylon went through a sustained period of growth as…

Tickets for the Research Ops day at UXInsight in the Netherlands are on sale now. We’re really excited to introduce the programme for our first ever Research Ops conference!

The backstory

Last year I did a short talk about Research Ops at UXInsight in the Netherlands. I enjoyed listening to the other talks and appreciated the friendly vibe of the event. So, when Karin den Bouwmeester the founder of UXInsight contacted me again later in the year about a possible collaboration, I was interested.

The Research Ops Community isn’t phased by complicated collaboration after running two rounds of global workshops but a conference? That’s a whole new level of Event Ops! The cheese board are all volunteers and run the community in our spare time so organising a conference seemed pretty…

I’ve seen a lot of ‘10 year challenge’ type posts on social media over the last few weeks. What’s interesting about a lot of them, is that this is the first decade many of us have documented so much of our lives on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. It feels like we know so much more about each other.

I have been reflecting on the passing of a decade over the past few days and looking back through photos and posts. I wasn’t going to write about it though. Do people need more noise in their Twitter timeline or…

I’m two months into an Interim Research Leadership role at Babylon Health. What have a learnt this month?

To pace myself better.

Month 1 saw me charging at 300 miles an hour. I spent a fair bit of time away from home and most of my time in meetings. This was really helpful to get to know people and build relationships but it left me very little time to follow up and take action. Towards the start of month 2, I caught the office lurgy and I felt pretty exhausted. This was my body telling me to slow the hell down!

Constrained by Mark’s

Last month, I started at Babylon Health as the Interim Director of Research. It’s the first time I’ve performed an interim role so I thought it might be useful to share my approach and any learnings along the way.

Caretaker or Change Maker?

When I joined, the team had been without leadership for a few months. Jane asked me to come on board and steady the ship until someone permanent was in post. I wasn’t sure what to expect but this post by Tom Prior helped. I have been made to feel really welcome these past few weeks and I have been so impressed…

Over the last few months we’ve been working on providing and sharing ideas of how you can start your Research Ops practice. Read on to find out more.

In the Summer we introduced you to the Eight Pillars of User Research. These eight pillars are the broad areas of User Research. Underneath these pillars sit groups of things that User Researchers or ‘people who do research’ (PWDR) are concerned with. Many of these things are challenges to operationalising research. By understanding these pillars, we can start to think about how to operationalise research in our organisations. …

I would like to introduce you to someone. She’s someone you may know. She maybe someone in your scrum team. She maybe one of many or she maybe the only one in the company. This is a story about the challenges she faces and how we can help her do her best work.

This is Rea. Rea is a Senior User Researcher for a software company.

How can you get started with Research Ops unless you understand what’s important to User Researchers? Read on to find out.

Last year @TeamReOps undertook a global adventure with the #WhatIsResearchOps project culminating in the Framework.

The #WhatIsResearchOps Framework

The framework was created with data from a 300+ response survey and insights from 33 workshops. We wanted to be able to give the workshop participants some context, so we kick started our analysis using the open ended survey responses to the question:

‘What are the challenges with operationalising research in your organisation?’

The result was a taxonomy and set of tags we could…

This year has been quite different for me and I wanted to capture my learnings to look back on in time.

I left my job at the end of January and decided to give freelancing a go. I took a few months off and dedicated some time to creative writing classes. I loved immersing myself in the world of children’s literature. It was the refreshing break I needed but before long I knew I needed to get back out there.

My profile had withered whilst working in-house so I dedicated some time to rebuilding an audience for my writing and redesigning my neglected personal site. I was offered some speaking opportunities. …

Emma Boulton

Director of User Research @BabylonHealth Writing about Research Leadership, Research Operations, Design and UX.

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